The University of North Carolina student tasked with completing the basketball team’s schoolwork was unable to watch the Tar Heels take on Arkansas Saturday.
Drew Boyd, a senior, said he’d really hoped to crack open a few beers and watch the game with his roommates, but simply had too much work to get through.
“It’s a mindless job really, but with 17 players on the roster, this stuff really starts to pile up,” Boyd said, sifting through the mountain of papers on his desk. “It’s like Coach [Roy Williams] always says, ‘sometimes you’ve just got to be responsible; you’ve got to make sacrifices to keep the boys playing ball.’”
On Saturday, Boyd spent 10 hours completing worksheets and submitting online assignments.
“The sports management stuff never takes too long, and a lot of the algebra answers are right there in the back of the book,” Boyd said, flipping through a rolodex of campus identification numbers. “But you’ve got to take your time. You don’t want to put the wrong name down on an essay.”
A die-hard fan, Boyd applied for the team manager position his freshman year. He didn’t get the job, so he was surprised when he got a phone call from Coach Williams a few weeks later.
“Coach called me and said a brand-new position had just opened up: academic director,” Boyd said. “Fake classes were out, and I was in.”
Boyd says Williams couldn’t be happier about the job he’s doing.
“I’m doing well in all 70 of my classes,” Boyd said, cracking open an enormous binder labeled “Point Guards.”
Tar Heel basketball players are expected to maintain a C average to play ball. According to their official transcripts, Boyd has kept the team GPA at a comfortable 3.0 on a 4-point scale.
“The trick is not to get 100 percent on everything,” Boyd said, randomly filling in bubbles on a Scantron sheet. “Nobody wants to raise any suspicions, especially around tournament time.”
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